I tried someone's baked egg at a restaurant once, and I've always wanted to try making it. After being inspired by watching Julia Child make them in Julia Child Episode: The French Chef (1964): Elegance with Eggs (PBS video), I finally got around to trying to make Oeufs en Cocotte (baked eggs). The recipe worked exactly like Julia said, and it tasted great and was easy and elegant, indeed.
Oeufs en Cocotte (Eggs Baked in Ramekins)
The ramekins must be set in a pan of boiling water, otherwise the intense heat of the oven will toughen the outer edges of the egg before the inside has cooked.
Preheat oven to 375. Place empty ramekin in an oven and stovetop proof pan or larger pot. Add some water to the pan (about an inch or so); leave some room for the water to boil without going into the ramekin. Heat the pan on the stovetop until the water is just boiling.
Butter the inside of the ramekin (about 1/2 tsp). Add a Tbsp of cream. When the cream is hot, break one or two eggs into the ramekin. Pour an additional spoonful (about 1 Tbsp) of cream on top of the eggs.
Place pan in the middle rack of oven. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes. The eggs are done when they are just set but still tremble slightly. They will continue to set once they are removed from the oven, so they should not be over cooked. The ramekins may remain in the pan of water before serving for up to 10 to 15 minutes, if you like--to prevent over cooking, remove eggs from oven when slightly underdone.
Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with herbs if you like.
I used half and half instead of cream, and oregano, salt and pepper to garnish; this was a nice combination. I also cooked them for 13 minutes because I was worried that the inside wasn't cooked. This resulted in a perfectly fully cooked egg, with a very moist yolk! 7 to 10 minutes should leave the yolk a little bit runnier.
I saw this post about poaching eggs in the microwave on chowhound a while ago, and I have been wanting to try it since then, because it sounds easy to do and easy to clean up. I finally tried the technique out today, and it is the easiest method that I have learned so far! Just like the post said, I added approximately half a cup of water to a small ramekin (not necessary to measure), and a few drops of vinegar. I cracked a really fresh egg into the water (fresh eggs poach best, older eggs are good for hard boiling). Since my microwave didn't all me to change power, I cooked my first egg too long, and it blew up all over my microwave. Luckily the egg was cooked by then, so it was really only vinegary water that coated everything, and it was easy to clean. For my microwave, which only has high power, this is the timing that worked for me: Cook ramekin for 30 seconds on high. Open microwave door and check how cooked the egg is. If the egg is still pretty raw, cook for 20 more seconds. Let the ramekin stand for about 2 minutes, so that the egg can continue cooking. If the egg is almost but not quite done, microwave for 10 seconds more on high. Thus the timing is 30-20-10. It is important to use this sequence, since cooking for one minute on high consecutively is much more powerful. Remove from water and serve.
I ate my poached egg with some thinly sliced toasted bread, goat cheese, a drizzle of high quality olive oil, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, a sprinkle of sea salt, and a pinch of sprouts.
For other poaching egg methods see: